Maintaining data security is a concern shared by many who are looking to dispose of ewaste safely. With so many advertising these services, it can be challenging for consumers to sift through them all and identify those that are both safe for the environment AND safe for your data. When considering each method and provider, there are a few key factors to consider.
Recycling eWaste isn’t Free
Your used electronic devices contain droves of valuable, yet hazardous, materials. The cost to recycle them reflects the time and effort needed to disassemble and sort each item safely.
If a business is offering free ewaste pickup and recycling or offers to pay you to recycle your old devices, you’d be right to wonder how they make a profit. Rest assured; they are making a profit or else they wouldn’t be in business. However, if you’re not paying for their service, that means someone else is. For a company to succeed in business, they need to put their clients’ needs at the center of their business model. Which means that if you’re not the client, you may find that you are the product.
Disposing of ewaste that has held your data is not to be taken lightly. If a company offers to pay you for your old devices or to pick them up for free, it would be wise to ask how they make a profit. Only by knowing who pays them can you begin to assess the risk of trusting them with your data.
Recycling eWaste is Time-Consuming
As mentioned above, electronic devices are rife with valuable materials, but it takes significant time to disassemble these items and sort the materials. Many companies who sell their services as the “environmentally friendly” option mask their processes, which are not only bad for the environment, but they’re bad for your data security, too.
Often, discarded devices are shipped overseas still intact where offshore buyers employ workers in distressed economies to take on the arduous and dangerous task of taking these devices apart. Not only does this have a chillingly negative impact on the health of the workers and their local environment, but it also presents a prime opportunity for thieves to intercept these devices and extract the private data of their previous owners.
There are laws governing the proper disposal of ewaste
Due to the hazardous nature of many components used in electronics, 25 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that puts in place statewide ewaste recycling programs. The products covered under these laws vary from state to state, which can make it difficult for consumers to keep track of their responsibility when discarding electronic devices.
In California, for example, CRT’s (cathode ray tubes) that are no longer functioning and which are found in some televisions and computer monitors are considered hazardous and cannot be disposed of in landfills. It is not only damaging to the environment to ignore this guidance, but it’s also illegal to do so under California law.
California has also enacted legislation to make it easier for consumers to dispose of small ewaste items, such as mobile phones, by requiring retailers who sell these items to put in place and promote a program to collect and recycle them, as well.
Good intentions don’t offset data vulnerability
Ill intent isn’t a prerequisite for your data to be stolen. Many people discard their ewaste by donating it to charitable organizations or giving it to a friend or family member. Charitable giving is an excellent way to responsibly discard of your old electronic devices while minimizing the environmental impact and helping a worthy cause. Before donating your old phone or computer, however, it’s critical to follow some basic steps to ensure your data is secure.
It would be best if you also understand how an organization will treat your device after it’s donated. Some charities may use donated computers themselves to run their organization, distribute them to workers in their office, or match devices to new owners based on need, while others refurbish and resell them for a profit to help fund their charitable initiatives. While no one model is superior to the other, they do carry different risks.
Resale models often sell donated items directly to the public, which means potential buyers are unknown along with their intentions. By understanding how your donation will be used, you can assess your risk and take the steps you feel are necessary to mitigate them.
Giving your old devices to friends and family is also a green alternative many consider when disposing of old mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers, and even printers. Once you’ve given your device to a new owner, you lose control of how it is used and who else will have access to it. Even parents giving old devices to their children should take necessary steps to wipe their data first to avoid free third-party apps from accessing it in the future.
Safe and Professional eWaste Removal
Junk King’s reliable ewaste removal service is an eco-friendly way to dispose of your old electronic devices. We pick up and dispose of your old electronics and devices so you don’t have to worry about whose hands they might end up in or keep track of state or local restrictions.
Our professional and insured e-waste removal team will call 15 minutes before our arrival at your home or office. Once we arrive, we’ll provide you with a free, transparent estimate with no hidden fees. We recycle, reuse, or donate up to 60% of what we pick up, so you can rest easy knowing that your items will end up in the right place.
Depending on the condition of your items, some approaches to ewaste disposal we may take can include donating working devices to charity or hauling them to a recycling facility where they can be safely dismantled, recycled, or disposed of properly.
Ready to get rid of that junk? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).